Major Bust Of Hog-Dog Fighting Rings

In a coordinated sweep across four states, law enforcement authorities shut down the nation's largest hog-dog fighting operation over the weekend of 12/17/2004. Beginning early Friday morning, federal and state authorities, accompanied by members of HSUS' anti-animal fighting task force, raided facilities in Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia. They seized hundreds of animals and arrested several of the fighting ring's organizers on a variety of felony charges, including animal cruelty.

Many of the animals seized during this weekend's raid were severely scarred and injured from the fighting ring. Hogs were found with broken legs and their ears barely attached to their skulls. All of the dogs were found either chained or penned up in squalid conditions.

"The practice of staging fights between pit bulls and captured hogs is illegal under the laws prohibiting animal fighting in South Carolina," said South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster. "Like dog fighting, these activities are barbaric, inhumane, and will be vigorously prosecuted in South Carolina."

Hog-dog fighting, also known as "hog dog rodeos" or "hog catch trials," is a form of animal fighting in which trained pit bulls are thrown into a pit to chase down and pin wild pigs. Pigs emerge from the events with injuries that range from shredded ears to broken limbs. The activity was recently put in the public spotlight when a local Alabama television station released undercover footage taken at a bloody hog-dog event. Since then, deeper investigations by The HSUS have revealed hog-dog fights to be a growing phenomenon, organized regularly in at least ten states

This weekend's bust is a significant blow to organized animal fighting rings because it has effectively shut down the top hog-dog fighting operation in the nation.

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